||Introduction to Astronomy I
|NAME OF INSTRUCTOR:
||Dr. Brian Martin
|CREDIT WEIGHT AND WEEKLY TIME DISTRIBUTION:
||credits 3(hrs lect 3 - hrs sem 1 - hrs lab 3)
||An introduction to the science of astronomy for science majors.
The course will focus on the historical roots of astronomy and
its relation to other sciences. Emphasis will be given to the
practical aspects of observational astronomy, motion in the
heavens, modern astrophysical theories of stars - their
formation and evolution - as well as experimental techniques in
astronomy. The course has both daytime and occasional evening
Prerequisites: Mathematics 30-1 and either Physics 30 or Science 30
||Seeds, Michael. Foundations of Astronomy 12th edition (Brookes-Cole)
||Kaufiuiann, W. Universe :4th edition. (Freeman) (or equivalent)
Koestler, A. The Sleepwalkers, (Penguin, 1972)
Ferris, T. Coming of Age in the Milky Way, (Anchor, 1988)
Appropriate readings from current Astronomical journals.
|MARK DISTRIBUTION IN PERCENT:
|Assignment and on-line quizzes
- The development of astronomy from antiquity to the mid
20th century. This will include a discussion of different cosmologies,
and the emergence of the “Newtonian” world view.
Observational astronomy including major constellations, observed
solar, lunar and planetary motions and the use of simple astronomical
equipment. This will introduce a number of very basic concepts
including stellar magnitude as a measure of apparent brightness and
some simple terms from orbital mechanics.
Kepler, Brahe and Galileo and the subsumption of their ideas within
the Newtonian universe. Using Newton’s laws to
“explore” the universe including a discussion of comet and
asteroid orbits, eclipses and the determination of planetary and
An exploration the earth-sun relation and particular emphasis on the
sun as a star. This section will include theories (both historical and
current) on the formation of stars as well as the current understanding
of stellar structure. The earth sun interaction will be considered with
a discussion of aurora, zodiacal light and other relevant topics.
Introduction to the atomic and nuclear processes relevant to a
discussion of stellar structure. Stellar evolution and the ultimate
fate of the stars will bring the course to a close.
- Introduction to the Sky
- Motion in the Sky
- Cycles of the Sky
- Origin of Astronomy
- Light and Telescopes
- Atoms and Spectra
- The Sun
- The Interstellar Medium and Stellar Families
- The Death of Stars
- Neutron Stars and Black Holes
- Using "Stellarium" Planetarium program
- Getting used to Magnitude and Brightness
- Kepler's Laws and Cometary Orbits
- Galileo's Telescope
- Wien's Law, Stefan's Law and other Blackbody Stuff!
- Exploring the HR Diagram
- The HR Diagram and Stellar Evolution
Required texts, assignments, and grade distributions may vary from one offering of this course to the next. Please consult the course instructor for up to date details.